Views on race impact Obama more than views on Mormonism impact Romney, Americans have mixed opinions on health care, and nothing's clear in swing states. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
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Findings: Non-black voters who believe that blacks are discriminated against are more likely to support Obama 56 to 37 percent. The 62 percent of those who do not believe blacks in their community are discriminated against are far more likely to support Romney than Obama, 59 to 34 percent. Turning to Romney's Mormonism, the poll finds that while opinions on the topic do not as drastically impact voting as they do in the case of race, they do have some effect. Among non-Mormon voters, 31 percent feel unfavorably toward Mormonism while 38 percent regard it favorably. Those who feel favorably about Mormonism are more likely to vote for Romney, 54 to 43 percent. On the opposing side they are more likely to swing Obama, 49 to 42 percent.
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Pollster: ABC News/Washington Post
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Methodology: 1,003 adults were surveyed via telephone between July 5 and July 8. The margin of sampling error is 4 points.
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Why it matters: Race still has an impact on this election. Also, as the poll points out, opinions as to whether blacks are discriminated against "predict Obama’s job approval rating and assessments of him on personal attributes, including whether, compared with Romney, he’s more likable, better understands Americans’ economic problems, is the stronger leader, or is more likely to stand up for what he believes in." Views on Mormonism predict how people will feel about Romney's "empathy and standing up for his beliefs."
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Caveat: Blacks are "nearly unanimously" in support of Obama.
Findings: Across 12 swing states—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—Obama leads 47 percent to 45 percent.
Pollster: Purple Strategies
Methodology: 2,412 likely voters interviewed via telephone between July 9 and July 13 with a +/-1.6 margin of error.
Why it matters: Neither candidate has a firm grasp on these key states.
Caveat: Per Talking Points Memo, each candidate has his own factor working against him in these states: for Obama that's approval ratings, for Romney it's favorability.
Findings: Americans have a range of viewpoints on health care. Though 59 percent say it will make things better for people who do not currently have health insurance compared to 32 percent who think it will not, 46 percent think it will make things worse for people who already have health insurance compared to the 36 percent who think it will make things better for that demographic. Additionally, 42 percent think it will make things worse for them personally compared to 38 percent who think it will make things better. More people also think it's worse for taxpayers (60-30) and businesses (57-33).
Methodology: 1,004 adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and D.C. were interviewed via telephone between July 9 and 12. Maximum margin of error "with 95% confidence" is +/-4.
Why it matters: According to Gallup, these results have a teachable moment attached. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act should be upfront about the fact that this will cost money; opponents should agree that it will help some people.
Caveat: Opinions are still divided along party lines. More Democrats on a whole tend to think that the ACA will make things better for all the categories tested. Meanwhile, more Republicans tend to think it will make things worse, except in the case of people who do not have health insurance—in which case, they were divided.
Findings: Obama and Romney are extremely tight in Florida: 46 percent for Obama, 45 percent for Romney, and 2 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Pollster: Mason-Dixon for various Florida news organizations including The Miami Herald.
Methodology: 800 registered Florida voters were surveyed via telephone between July 9 and 11. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.
Why it matters: The traditional tough state remains tough. The Miami Herald notes how suprising it is that Obama is doing this well at all. There are a number of stats from the poll that show state's residents aren't too happy with Obama, including 54 percent of Floridians think the country under Obama is on the "wrong track." The Herald also notes that it will be "virtually impossible" for Romney to win "without Florida’s 29 electoral votes, and the poll shows he has lots of work to do in the Sunshine State over the next four months."
Caveat: This poll shows that independent voters at present are leaning Obama, 46 to 41 percent. That said, in the Purple Poll mentioned above, Romney has a three-point lead over Obama.